|Publication number||US7092701 B2|
|Application number||US 10/722,198|
|Publication date||Aug 15, 2006|
|Filing date||Nov 26, 2003|
|Priority date||Nov 26, 2003|
|Also published as||CN1883213A, CN1883213B, DE602004020374D1, EP1687999A2, EP1687999B1, US20050113078, WO2005057965A2, WO2005057965A3|
|Publication number||10722198, 722198, US 7092701 B2, US 7092701B2, US-B2-7092701, US7092701 B2, US7092701B2|
|Inventors||Thomas L. Deitrich|
|Original Assignee||Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications, Ab|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (7), Non-Patent Citations (1), Referenced by (1), Classifications (15), Legal Events (3)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
The present invention generally relates to communication systems, and more particularly to methods, networks, and systems for routing communications to wireless terminals.
There is a general trend for people to use an increasing number and variety of communication devices. For example, a person may now communicate by a subscriber line phone, wireless cellular phone, wireless pager, wireless data terminal, and email. The variety of communication devices can provide more flexibility for how, when, and where a person can be contacted, but it can also increase the complexity of such communication. For example, each of these communication devices may have unique access requirements and a unique telephone number, data message address, or internet address. Contacting a person who has such a variety of communication devices may involve obtaining a list of the telephone numbers, data message addresses, or internet addresses of the communication devices and guessing as to the best way to contact the person and/or trying different devices until the communication is successful performed.
Various embodiments of the present invention route communications to wireless terminals. A wireless terminal identifier and an alternate routing identifier are associated with a wireless terminal. When an incoming communication is directed to the wireless terminal identifier, it is routed based on the alternate routing identifier when the wireless terminal is not available.
In some further embodiments of the present invention, the alternate routing identifier may be defined at a wireless terminal and communicated as a data message to a wireless network. The data message may be, for example, a short message service data message, an enhanced messaging service data message, and/or an email data message. Alternatively or additionally, the alternate routing identifier may be received from an Internet website that is associated with the wireless network. The wireless network may then associate the alternate routing identifier with the wireless terminal identifier.
In yet some further embodiments of the present invention, the wireless terminal identifier may be a wireless phone number, and an incoming communication that is directed to the wireless phone number may be routed to a voice mailbox that is not associated with the wireless network. For example, the voice mailbox may be part of a public switched telephone network. When the incoming communication is a data message, it may be routed based on an internet address that is associated with the alternate routing identifier, based on a telephone number for a mobile terminal that is associated with the alternate routing identifier, and/or based on a telephone number for a pager that is associated with the alternate routing identifier.
In yet some further embodiments of the present invention, an incoming communication may be converted from one form to another before being routed. For example, an incoming text message may be converted to an audible signal and then routed based on the alternate routing identifier. An incoming voice call may be converted to a text message and/or recorded as a data message and then routed based on the alternate routing identifier.
The present invention now will be described more fully hereinafter with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which embodiments of the invention are shown. However, this invention should not be construed as limited to the embodiments set forth herein. Rather, these embodiments are provided so that this disclosure will be thorough and complete, and will fully convey the scope of the invention to those skilled in the art. Like numbers refer to like elements throughout.
It also will be understood that, as used herein, the term “comprising” or “comprises” is open-ended, and includes one or more stated elements, steps and/or functions without precluding one or more unstated elements, steps and/or functions.
The present invention is described below with reference to block diagrams and/or operational illustrations of methods and systems according to embodiments of the invention. It is understood that each block of the block diagrams and/or operational illustrations, and combinations of blocks in the block diagrams and/or operational illustrations, can be implemented by analog and/or digital hardware, and/or computer program instructions. These computer program instructions may be provided to a processor of a general purpose computer, special purpose computer, ASIC, and/or other programmable data processing apparatus in a system, such that the instructions, which execute via the processor of the computer and/or other programmable data processing apparatus, create means for implementing the functions/acts specified in the block diagrams and/or operational block or blocks. In some alternate implementations, the functions/acts noted in the blocks may occur out of the order noted in the operational illustrations. For example, two blocks shown in succession may in fact be executed substantially concurrently or the blocks may sometimes be executed in the reverse order, depending upon the functionality/acts involved.
It should be understood, that, as used herein, the term “wireless terminal” may include, but is not limited to, a cellular radiotelephone with or without a multi-line display; a pager; a Personal Communications System (PCS) terminal that may combine a cellular radiotelephone with data processing, facsimile and data communications capabilities; a Personal Data Assistant (PDA) that can include a radiotelephone, pager, Internet/intranet access, Web browser, organizer, calendar and/or a global positioning system (GPS) receiver; and a conventional laptop and/or palmtop portable computer that includes a radiotelephone or other transceiver. A wireless terminal may be configured to communicate according one or more wireless communication protocols, including, but not limited to, ANSI-136, Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM), code division multiple access (CDMA), wideband-CDMA, CDMA2000, Enhanced Data rates for GSM Evolution (EDGE), Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS), a wireless local area network (WLAN) protocol such as IEEE 802.11b-g and Bluetooth, satellite protocols, private land mobile radio protocols such as PROJECT-25 and Tetra, and/or other communication protocols. Communication protocols as used herein may specify the information communicated, the timing, the frequency, the modulation, and/or the operations for setting-up and/or maintaining a communication connection.
The PSTN 120 can communicate through subscriber telephone lines 20 with wireline communication devices, such as, for example, a phone 10 d, a voice mail device 10 e, a facsimile device 10 f, and consumer premises equipment (CPE) 10 g (collectively referred to as “wireline communication devices 10 d–f”). The PSTN 120 routes communications between the wireline communication devices 10 d–g, and between the wireline communication devices 10 d–g and the wireless network 110. The PSTN 120 includes a service switch point 122 that services the subscriber telephone lines 20 and can include a storage device 124 that is configured to store voice mail and/or text message for retrieval by a user. Although only one service switch point 122 is shown, a typical regional PSTN can include hundreds of service switch points and can serve millions of subscriber telephone lines.
Each of the wireless terminals 10 a–c may be assigned a unique wireless terminal identifier, which may be, for example, a unique number and/or a data network address. For example, wireless terminals that support voice communications (e.g., cellular radiotelephone 10 a and data terminal 10 b) may be assigned unique phone numbers, and wireless terminals that support data communications (e.g., data terminal 10 b and pager 10 c) may be assigned unique data network addresses. The wireless terminal identifier of GSM type wireless terminals may be based on International Mobile Subscriber Identity (IMSI) numbers that include a Mobile Country Code (MCC), a Mobile Network Code (MNC), and a Mobile Subscriber Identity Number (MSIN).
The wireless network 110 may include a mobile switching center 112, a registry 114, a call storage device 116, and a data network access component 118. The mobile switching center 112 routes communications, such as voice calls and/or data messages, from, to, and/or between one or more of the wireless terminals 10 a–c, the PSTN 120, and the Internet via the data network access component 118. Data messages can include email, short message service data messages, and/or enhanced messaging service data messages. The mobile switching center 112 may include separate networks for routing voice communications and data communications. For example, voice communications may be routed through a point-to-point network and data communications may be routed through a packet switched network. The registry 114 contains information that is used by the mobile switching center 112 to route incoming communications, such as voice calls and/or data messages, that are directed to one or more of the wireless terminals 10 a–c.
In some embodiments of the present invention, the registry 114 contains the wireless terminal identifiers and associations between each of the wireless terminal identifiers and one or more alternate routing identifiers. The alternate routing identifiers may correspond to, for example, telephone numbers for mobile terminals and/or wireline communication devices that are serviced by the PSTN 120, data message routing identifiers for mobile terminals and/or devices that are accessible via the Internet (e.g., Internet addresses), and/or voice mailboxes and/or data mailboxes that are identified by the alternative routing identifier in the storage device 116 in the wireless network 110 and/or the storage device 124 in the PSTN 120. The registry 114 may also associate other information with the wireless terminal identifiers, such as, for example, service subscription information, information on the present location of a wireless terminal within the communication system, and/or supplemental services information. An exemplary data structure of a registry is shown in
The mobile switching center 112 accesses the registry 114 to determine how to route incoming communications that are directed to one or more of the wireless terminals 10 a–c.
According to various embodiments of the present invention, when the wireless terminal is not available at Block 210, a determination is made at Block 220 as to whether one or more alternative routing identifiers is associated with the wireless terminal identifier of the incoming communication. For example, the mobile switching center 112 may access the registry 114 to identify an alternative routing identifier for an unavailable wireless terminal.
When an alternative routing identifier is not associated with the wireless terminal identifier, then at Block 230 the incoming communication may still be routed based on the wireless terminal identifier to, for example, a voice mailbox in the call-data storage device 116 of a wireless network with which the wireless terminal is registered. In contrast, when an alternative routing identifier is associated with the wireless terminal identifier, then at Block 240 the incoming communication is routed based on the alternative routing identifier. For example, the incoming communication may be routed at Block 240 based on the alternative routing identifier to another wireless terminal, to a wireline communication device that is serviced by the PSTN 120, to a voice mailbox and/or data mailbox in the storage device 116 that is identified by the alternative routing identifier, to a voice mailbox and/or data mailbox in the storage device 124 of the PSTN 120 that is identified by the alternative routing identifier, and/or as a data message that is communicated through the data network access component 118 to the Internet.
When more than one alternate routing identifier is associated with the wireless terminal identifier, an incoming communication may be routed sequentially based the alternate routing identifiers using, for example, defined or default prioritizations of the alternate routing identifiers until the communication is successfully received by a communication device. Alternatively or additionally, an incoming communication may be routed in parallel based on a plurality of the alternate routing identifiers.
An incoming communication may be converted at Block 240 from one form to another, such as, for example, from a voice call to a data message that is then routed as a data message, and/or from a text message to an audible signal that is then routed as a voice call.
When the incoming communication is not a text message at Block 300, then a decision is made at Block 330 as to whether to the incoming communication is a voice call. If it is a voice call, then at Block 340 speech in the voice call may be converted to a text message using, for example, a conventional speech-to-text program and/or circuitry. At Block 350 the text message may then be routed based on the alternate routing identifier. In addition to, or as an alternative to the conversion and routing operations of Blocks 340 and 350, the voice call may be recorded as a data message at Block 360 and routed at Block 370 based on the alternate routing identifier. Thus, if a wireless terminal is not available to receive a voice call, the voice call may be converted to a text message and/or to a data message, and then routed to the wireless terminal and/or to another communication device that is associated with the alternate routing identifier. For example, a wireless terminal that is unavailable for receiving a voice call, but which is available to receive a data message, may receive a voice call as a data message. Similarly, a wireless terminal that is unavailable for receiving a data message, but which is available to receive a voice call, may receive a data message as a voice call. If the incoming communication is not a voice call at Block 330 (e.g., picture message), then at Block 380 the communication may be routed unchanged based on the alternative routing identifier.
The associations between the wireless terminal identifiers and the alternate routing identifiers may be defined by users. For example, a user may define an alternate routing identifier to which incoming communications to a wireless terminal are to be redirected when the wireless terminal is not available. A user may define the alternate routing identifier using, for example, the wireless terminal, a wireline communication device, and/or by logging into a website that is associated with the wireless network 110, such as by access the data network access component 118 via the Internet. A defined alternate routing identifier may be communicated from a wireless terminal to the wireless network 110 as a data message, such as a short message service data message, an enhanced messaging service data message, and/or as an email message. The alternate routing identifier may be communicated with the wireless terminal identifier to the wireless network 110, and/or the wireless network 110 may determine the wireless terminal identifier of the wireless terminal based on information that is received from the wireless terminal (e.g., MSIN of the wireless terminal). Communication of the alternate routing identifier from a wireless terminal identifier to the wireless network 110 may wait until before the wireless terminal turns-off. The associations between the wireless terminal identifiers and the alternate routing identifiers may be additionally or alternatively be defined by an operator of the wireless network 110. For example, an operator may define the associations so that if a wireless terminal is unavailable to receive one form of data message, such as an email message, then the data message is automatically routed as another form of data message, such as a short messaging service data message and/or enhanced messaging service data message.
In the drawings and specification, there have been disclosed typical preferred embodiments of the invention and, although specific terms are employed, they are used in a generic and descriptive sense only and not for purposes of limitation, the scope of the invention being set forth in the following claims.
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|U.S. Classification||455/417, 455/445|
|International Classification||H04M3/42, H04W4/12, H04W4/16, H04W8/18, H04W8/26, H04W92/02, H04W76/04|
|Cooperative Classification||H04W8/18, H04W4/16, H04W92/02, H04W8/26, H04W4/12|
|Apr 21, 2004||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: SONY ERICSSON MOBILE COMMUNICATIONS AB, SWEDEN
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:DEITRICH, THOMAS L.;REEL/FRAME:015236/0353
Effective date: 20040408
|Feb 12, 2010||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 4
|Jan 22, 2014||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 8